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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 7:28 pm    Post subject: Warning - Specialist Cars of Malton - John Hawkins Reply with quote

Over the last 11 months, I have had an absolutely horrendous experience with John Hawkins and Specialist Cars of Malton (SCoM). I would strongly advise that anyone considering selling or buying a car to or from this dealer do so with grave suspicion and great care. Ideally get your solicitor involved before you do anything.

John Hawkins himself is a very likeable, affable and genial person and a great host. He talks a good show and he’s good company. Unfortunately I found that all of these positive attributes are at odds with the way in which he runs his business.

My story started when I viewed a car which John Hawkins told me was jointly owned by him and another individual. An original, pre-signed V5C, was shown to “prove” that John Hawkins had power to negotiate and seal a deal in respect of the particular car. I would later find out that neither John Hawkins or Specialist Cars of Malton had any legal interest in the car and that they were in fact selling on a commission basis, on behalf of a private owner.

A deal was struck whereby SCoM agreed to carry out certain modifications and improvements to the particular car. SCoM estimated that six weeks would be required to deliver the finished article but, at my suggestion, our contract terms reflected a six week target but an absolute deadline of twelve weeks.

I don’t believe SCoM actually did any work at all over the first six weeks. At Twelve Weeks I was sent a set of photographs which indicated the car still had several weeks of work remaining. Sixteen weeks into the project, the car was repossessed by the REAL owner. Prospects were looking very bleak for me with the potential loss of a very large deposit and nothing to show for it. Months of negotiations with the owner followed. Various commitments were made by John Hawkins and SCoM and were reneged upon. Ultimately , over the course three months, payments were made SCoM to the owner and then by me to the owner, the result of which was that title to the car was transferred to me and the car was returned to SCoM in order to be finished.

Upon collecting the car I found it to be a very poorly executed project and over the course of the following weeks many, many deficiencies came to light. The sad reality is that it is a danger to me and to other road users and indeed, such is the state of “tune” that the engine represents a danger to itself. It is effectively an undriveable and unsafe car which is not suitable for road use.

Through communications with John Hawkins, Specialist Cars of Malton and subsequently his solicitors, Gordons LLP of Leeds, I sought to agree terms on which the car would be returned for rectification of the faults by SCoM. Unfortunately terms could not be agreed and I was left with no option but to send it to an independent specialist in order to have the project completed.

I now expect that I will have to invest a further, very significant sum of money with my own specialist, and to sue Specialist Cars of Malton for compensation for my losses.

In publishing this review I am conscious that it may very well have a negative impact on my ability to secure a positive outcome for me in the months to come but I feel that the Porsche loving community and the public at large need to be warned about this dealership.

I became aware of this forum having been directed to it in relation to the recent events surrounding another independnent dealer and I would like to thank the Forum Administrators for providing me, and potentially others, with a platform to share the details of very poor experience with Specialist Cars of Malton.

Ciaran.
Dublin, Ireland.
 
  
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jonttt
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Joined: 20 Aug 2012
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow Ciaran what a nightmare.

My perception of Specialist Cars of Malton was that they where expensive but had a good rep. Thank you for taking the trouble to post this for the good of the greater Porsche community at what could be to your detriment given it sounds as if you have not yet received full recourse. I hope that by making this public it may give Specialist Cars of Malton food for thought about how they treat their customers and in particular your issues. I’m a great believer in everyone makes mistakes, its how you fix them that counts and thats what distinguishes a good company from a bad one.

I hope this was an isolated incident but I have a feeling from your experience you may be opening a bog can of worms

Pop Corn
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Wh1t3Kn1ght
Monza


Joined: 22 Aug 2018
Posts: 228


2001 Porsche 996 Carrera 2

PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:34 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ciaran,

Thanks for sharing and hopefully things are looking better now for you and your car?

I had a similar experience last year with another so called independent porsche specialist, wish I had done my home work as this one was known to the community as a bit of a Bandit

After he emptied my bank account he then wanted more money to release the car back to me, I was advised by a solicitor that if I wanted the car back quickly without huge legal fees to just comply.

Is your project now finished? Would be good to see a positive outcome Thumb
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spongebob squarepants
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Joined: 20 Dec 2009
Posts: 5716
Location: Manchester and Iraq


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 8:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Errrrrr......


Yorkshire Surprised
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991.2GTS
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 02 Apr 2019
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Location: Yorkshire


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spongebob squarepants wrote:
Errrrrr......


Yorkshire Surprised


This geezer is probably from Lancashire like that ***** from Gmund. We’re sick of you all crossing the Pennines and lowering the tone. Hand
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spongebob squarepants
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Joined: 20 Dec 2009
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 9:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

991.2GTS wrote:
spongebob squarepants wrote:
Errrrrr......


Yorkshire Surprised


This geezer is probably from Lancashire like that ***** from Gmund. We’re sick of you all crossing the Pennines and lowering the tone.


Lol my last 2 911’s were purchased from Leeds and Knaresborough respectively Surprised
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mikeluke
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Joined: 03 Jun 2014
Posts: 1918
Location: Hampshire


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 10:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spongebob squarepants wrote:
Errrrrr......


Yorkshire Surprised


Always said that I would never buy a car from Yorkshire....
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jonttt wrote:
Wow Ciaran what a nightmare.

My perception of Specialist Cars of Malton was that they where expensive but had a good rep. Thank you for taking the trouble to post this for the good of the greater Porsche community at what could be to your detriment given it sounds as if you have not yet received full recourse. I hope that by making this public it may give Specialist Cars of Malton food for thought about how they treat their customers and in particular your issues. I’m a great believer in everyone makes mistakes, its how you fix them that counts and thats what distinguishes a good company from a bad one.

I hope this was an isolated incident but I have a feeling from your experience you may be opening a bog can of worms

Pop Corn


Thanks for the support.

I too had that perception but sadly my experience has been poor to say the least.

Throughout the whole process, and as recently as this week, I have put forward a multitude of options to Specialist Cars of Malton to mitigate their position or to exit the transaction entirely. They have been offered the opportunity to accept responsibility and to address the issues. I also offered them the opportunity to refund me my purchase price less £10,000, a loss which I was prepared to absorb as a lesson learnt. Sadly all negotiations failed to conclude with any satisfaction and I've been left with what I feel is no alternative but to have the problems rectified at my own expense and to seek redress from them at a later time.
 
  
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wh1t3Kn1ght wrote:
Hi Ciaran,

Thanks for sharing and hopefully things are looking better now for you and your car?
......
Is your project now finished? Would be good to see a positive outcome Thumb


Thanks, it's been a very difficult and stressful time this last year dealing with John Hawkins and Specialist Cars of Malton. I've done everything I reasonably could to compromise and find a mutually acceptable solution with them but to no avail.

My car is currently undergoing an extensive second phase of work with an independent who specialises in the restoration of classic Porsche and I have every confidence that, in time, it will be finished properly.

It's such a shame though that John Hawkins was unwilling to step up and take responsibility. It's very difficult and expensive to have one man take over another man's unfinished work. The moment my man changes a spark plug he will be seen to be the last man to have worked on the engine and any problems which might come to light thereafter would likely be shrugged off by Specialist Cars. As a consequence of this, the only way my man can cover himself, and provide me with the comfort and assurance that I need, is to go in deep, pull everything apart and put it back together in a way that meets his own exacting standards.

Much of the work which now needs to be undertaken has already been done by Specialist Cars but has proved to be deficient. If they'd only done that last 5% properly we wouldn't be in this mess. Unfortunately it would appear that they grossly underestimated the time and cost of meeting their commitments to me and took shortcuts in order to try to minimise their costs.
 
  
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2019 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

spongebob squarepants wrote:
Errrrrr......


Yorkshire Surprised



There must be something in the water eh?
 
  
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Tombri
Spa-Francorchamps


Joined: 29 Oct 2013
Posts: 308
Location: Scotland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Ciaran,

I am so sorry to hear this. I dropped in to Specialist cars last year and got a distinctly 'uncomfortable' feel about the place. Some nice cars in there but whoever the man was I spoke to - suspected it was the gaffer - made me think I would not want to buy from him.

This is of course irrelevant to you and I really hope that in time you end up with a car you want and like and the financial loss will be diluted in your memory.

I totally agree with Jonttt about how companies/individuals deal with mistakes but it would seem that Hawkins thinks otherwise. Shocked to hear the solicitor saying that it is best just to cough up....

Have you thought about flying a banner behind a plane over Malton for a few hours...…? Hand
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 8:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This was the state of play last November when the car was due to ready...
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Ciaran
Dublin, Ireland.
 



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FZP
Estoril


Joined: 18 Jan 2015
Posts: 3712
Location: Cheshire


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:01 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've said it before, I'll say it again. How hard can it be not to be a wack
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Having picked up the car it sat on a trailer for about two weeks awaiting importation inspection. As you can see, the engine dribbled a drop of oil!

Most of this occurred within 48 hours.
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The sad part of it was that when I inspected the car there was only very slight evidence of oil leak. I was shocked when I was sent pictures of the engine out and pulled apart last November.

Sadly, having pulled the engine apart to this extent, Specialist Cars of Malton managed to put it back together again with the oil-tightness of a sieve.
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Ciaran
Dublin, Ireland.
 



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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The consequence of all this is that as of yesterday, 27.06.2019, the engine is once more out of the car and being pulled apart.
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tombri wrote:
Hi Ciaran,

I am so sorry to hear this. I dropped in to Specialist cars last year and got a distinctly 'uncomfortable' feel about the place. Some nice cars in there but whoever the man was I spoke to - suspected it was the gaffer - made me think I would not want to buy from him......

Have you thought about flying a banner behind a plane over Malton for a few hours...…? Hand


Thanks Tombri. Your instincts perhaps saved you from a world of pain.

The showroom of Specialist Cars of Malton is indeed a very seductive place. John Hawkins takes pride that almost all of the stock on display belongs to him, that he's not like other dealerships that fill their showrooms with customers cars.

With the benefit of hindsight and a little snoop in Companies House it is evident that this is not true at all. I can think of two cars (out of perhaps thirty on display inside the premises) which would account for 100% of their most recent stock valuation.

The reality must surely be that the vast majority of the cars on display are actually with them for storage or on loan or for sale on commission.
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Tombri wrote:
Hi Ciaran,

Have you thought about flying a banner behind a plane over Malton for a few hours...…? Hand


And to answer this question ... Yes! I applaud the gentleman who did that recently. A stroke of genius!
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Kryton
Nürburgring


Joined: 05 Mar 2005
Posts: 404



PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

FDub wrote:
Having picked up the car it sat on a trailer for about two weeks awaiting importation inspection. As you can see, the engine dribbled a drop of oil!

Most of this occurred within 48 hours.


Strewth Ciaran what a challenge!!!

Keep us all updated please and good luck Smile
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FDub
Trainee


Joined: 14 Jun 2019
Posts: 71
Location: Dublin, Ireland


PostPosted: Fri Jun 28, 2019 9:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kryton wrote:


Strewth Ciaran what a challenge!!!



Agreed. I'm sure it can happen in the best of shops. A gasket gets pinched and there's a leak. What's hard to understand is how Specialist Cars of Malton managed to put a couple of hundred miles on this rebuild and park it up every night and not notice oil under it the following day. The oil leak genies must have been calling to the shop at 06:00 every day and mopping up the mess before anyone could see.

We can't determine if the crankcase is leaking but there's oil oozing out from just about every other possible location. Base of cylinders, cylinder/head seal, camshaft area, valve area. All of the above x both sides. A simply terrible result following a top-end rebuild by Specialist Cars of Malton.
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